Sunday, 10 June 2018

Crows' feet and wrinkles

An American beauty magazine has decided to stop using the term "anti-ageing" as it suggests ageing is "a condition we need to battle" rather than a natural and normal process.

Well, I wish them luck with that. However much you change the language referring to it, physical ageing is still going to be something people dislike and fret about and try to reverse. Thousands of us will still peer in the mirror every morning and look askance at the wrinkles, crows' feet or double chin. Not many of us will dismiss what we see with a casual "che sera sera".

Though I tend to say "che sera sera" most of the time - well, I was never a glamorous male heart-throb in the first place - there are still times when I look at my battered, ancient appearance and think it would be quite nice to go back a few years.

It's hard not to dwell on the ageing process when the media focuses so obsessively on youth, on looking young and on "not showing your age". And when so many people are resorting to cosmetic surgeons to hold back the advancing years.

Of course I never thought about ageing when I was young. Old age seemed like something way into the future that would probably never happen. It never occurred to me that I might end up looking like those wrinkly old codgers on the bus. Then suddenly (or so it seemed - I barely noticed the gradual changes) I looked like an old codger myself and I thought, how did that happen?

Secretly I rather like the fact that my face looks lived-in, the outcome of a lifetime of hard knocks and challenges, a thousand swirling emotions, so many extraordinary and astonishing events. The face that knows a thing or two.

Anti-ageing cream? Thanks but no thanks.

19 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Battered and ancient covers me, too. It's OK; I don't look at it.

Rummuser said...

Ditto.

nick said...

Joanne: That's probably the most sensible course.

Ramana: Ditto

helen devries said...

I have friends who feel pressure to keep 'looking good'...so the beautician, the hairdresser, the diet..
I know I am getting on and don't mind who else knows it.

nick said...

Helen: All this "looking good" costs so much as well. A survey in 2017 found that British women spend on average £70,294 on their appearance during their lifetime.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I read somewhere that a study showed that women have lower self-esteem/poorer body image after looking at a fashion or beauty magazine. I do not read them any more, nor do we allow them in our waiting room at the office. Aging is absolutely inevitable. No matter how much you spend trying to slow it down or conceal it. I just can't put my energy into that.

tammy j said...

as long as I'm clean and I don't scare little children...
that's the extent of my concern over it.
so I'm ditto with you and your wise followers. xo

nick said...

Agent: Those beauty mags/women's mags have been shown time and again to undermine women's self-confidence by presenting unattainable standards of appearance. Good to know you don't allow them in your waiting room!

Tammy: I think that's more or less my own rule of thumb! Oh and as long as I'm decently dressed and don't look like a tramp....

Bijoux said...

I don't have issue with people wanting to look their best, but a lot of the anti-aging efforts make people look scary, not better.

CheerfulMonk said...

I'm in the "don't look in the mirror" group, and I get along just fine.

nick said...

Bijoux: Agreed. Those people who've had multiple inept plastic surgeries can look very weird indeed.

Jean: I can't help looking in the mirror when I'm brushing my teeth.

Jenny Woolf said...

Having small children around is quite a good antidote to the idea that you must keep looking young. "What are those things on your feet? Do they hurt?" and "are those your wrinkles?" are two recent questions fired in my direction. :)

CheerfulMonk said...

"Jean: I can't help looking in the mirror when I'm brushing my teeth."

So you aren't blessed with nearsightedness? It can be a real blessing as we get older. :D

nick said...

Jenny: Children always ask those direct questions that we over-polite adults hesitate to ask. They must find things like corns and wrinkles very puzzling.

Jean: I'm fairly short-sighted but I usually have my glasses on when I'm brushing my teeth. So I see all the wear and tear.

John Gray said...

I. Have a face like a bag of spanners... always have had

nick said...

John: Oh come now. You just have a friendly, middle-aged face. No sign of any spanners.

Liz Hinds said...

Sitting in the hairdresser's this week forced to face a mirror under bright lights. I do dislike the fact that my face is creeping downwards. I have a very sullen drag around my mouth making me permanently miserable unless I make a deliberate effort to smile all the time.

A good move on the part of the magazine I think though.

nick said...

Liz: It's unfortunate when someone's face has a habitual expression that belies their actual personality. Like when someone always looks sullen and judgmental when actually they're neither.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I see my grandmother in the mirror these days and fond as I was of her it's rather disconcerting.